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Leading with Purpose

Now in its 38th year, the Simmons Leadership Conference remains the nation’s premier one-day professional development event for women. The 2017 program takes as its theme Leading with Purpose, focusing on the many ways that women are redefining the meaning of power and success. 

For some of the exceptional speakers on this year’s roster, this has meant persevering under daunting circumstances to achieve seemingly impossible goals, driven by their commitment to a purpose larger than themselves. In this category are Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe, the Ugandan nun who has given new hope of self-sufficiency and self-worth to thousands of women and girls ravaged by war, and Diana Nyad, world-class endurance swimmer who refused to give up on her lifelong dream of making the treacherous Cuba-to-Florida swim. Other speakers have had to triumph over less physically perilous but no less difficult conditions. Heading up this list is Diane von Furstenberg, designer of the iconic wrap dress, who managed to pull off one of the fashion industry’s greatest comebacks.  

Over the course of the day, inspiring keynote speakers offer candid stories about their experiences on the way to the top, as well as principles for success to help you pursue your own professional path. There is also a choice of lively panel discussions, signature dialogues, and skill-building workshops on topics ranging from business strategy and innovation to career management and personal branding. And in between formal sessions are chances to meet the speakers at book-signings, visit the corporate marketplace, enjoy a delicious lunch, and network with some of the 3,300 aspiring women who attend the conference from companies and organizations around the world. 

The Simmons Leadership Conference — a can't-miss experience for all women leaders!

All proceeds support graduate student scholarships at Simmons College.

Marlee Matlin and Diane von Furstenberg

2017 Conference

The 2017 Simmons Leadership Conference featured Marlee Matlin, Diana Nyad and Diane von Furstenberg and many more!

Hillary Clinton

See For Yourself

View highlights and attendee reactions from our transformative conference.